CELESTYAL MAJESTY IS OFF TO CUBA IN 2018

THOMSON MAJESTY
The Thomson, soon to be Celestyal Majesty. Photo credit: Thomson Cruises

Long standing rumours that the forthcoming Celestyal Majesty might go out to Cuba have finally been confirmed by Celestyal Cruises.

The 40,876 ton, 1460 passenger ship is still currently sailing under charter to Thomson Cruises as the Thomson Majesty, but she will return to the Celestyal fold in November of 2017. Initial reports suggested that, after a refit, the ship- restyled as the Celestyal Majesty- would re-enter service on a series of three, four and seven night round trip cruises from Malaga, Spain.

However, after rumours that Celestyal would add a second ship to it’s nascent, highly successful Cuba operation, it was thought by some- this blog included- that the rejoined Celestyal Majesty might become that second, Cuba based ship.

Truth is, Celestyal is replacing, rather than augmenting. Current Cuba stalwart, the 1200 passenger Celestyal Crystal, will return to Greece in 2018, to operate the three and four night cruises from Piraeus to the Greek Islands that she was once so familiar for.

Celestyal Majesty ups the passenger capacity for each seven night Cuba sailing by around some 200 plus passengers. The ship will offer embarkation both from Havana (where the vessel will stay overnight) and Montego Bay, Jamaica. Sailings will begin in January 2018, and thence continue year round.

This move marks the welcome redeployment of a once very popular Caribbean stalwart back towards her former cruising zones. Built in 1992, the ship sailed for both Majesty Cruise Line and, later, Norwegian Cruise Line. The latter had her dry docked in Bremerhaven and stretched in an ambitious refurbishment in 1999.

For both lines, the pretty little ship sailed from Boston to Bermuda each spring, before moving to Miami each winter for longer Caribbean runs. Later, Norwegian Cruise Line also sailed her out of Charleston, where she was very popular with the South Carolina market.

The ship was sold to as- was Louis Cruises in 2008, though she remained on charter to Norwegian Cruise Line until late 2009. Since acquisition by Louis, and then under subsequent charter to Thomson, the ship has operated exclusively around the Canary Islands, Mediterranean and Aegean, mainly on seven night cruises.

A handful of balcony cabins were added to the Thomson Majesty during a recent refit, and it will be interesting to see if Celestyal add more before her bruited move to Cuba, or even whether such a move is practical.

The Celestyal Majesty is a busy, pretty ship with very beautiful interior decor, though the entry grade inside and outside cabins are quite small. Wardrobe space is not great, but you won’t really be needing a huge amount of formal clothing on these informal, sun splashed cruise itineraries in any event.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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